3 Pockets- The Untold Story

 

I was born in the year of the horse, according to Chinese astrology, but that has almost nothing to do with this post. Read on and you’ll see….

During my first trip to Santorini in May of 2015, my husband and I came across this handsome devil every day on the way to our hotel from the main beach road.

Grecian friend

We always said hello and managed to catch this image.  I’m not sure if horses smile and he doesn’t appear to be.  Perhaps he’s happy and enjoying the land, visitors like us and the weather, but he’s not running free… something that made me rather sad each time I passed him on the hill.   Is he grateful for what he does have?  Does he have friend’s, a mate or even a comfortable place to live and sleep?  I don’t know, but he is there and he looks healthy and well cared for.

Next photo victim.. Me

I’m smiling, the sun’s on my face, I’m in paradise and enjoying a wonderful vacation with my one true love.  Everything is wonderful and I’m full of life.

Me

All of this is true, or is it? (scroll down for more)

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is true however; no one really knows what lies beneath.

I’ve been smiling since the day I was born (nearly) and I enjoy being happy and doing pleasurable things. I counsel friends who are down, have a playful sense of humour, have taken care of my family and husband when they weren’t well and take pleasure in finding perfect gifts for everyone in my life for special occasions or “just because.” I give a lot, probably more than is healthy for me.

I have 3 pockets.  I stuff each pocket with things that I don’t need or want while I’m enjoying life and happiness. My first pocket is close to my heart and holds the sadness of losing my father, the second pocket holds my worries… for everything and the final pocket holds my fears.. fears of health and fears of future.

The moment that I walk through my front door after a relaxing and enjoyable vacation or fun event, it’s there again. Me, the “me” that I tucked away in those 3 little pockets.  The me that has been struggling “inside” with trauma that has taken over my persona.

My outside (public self) stays positive, optimistic and playful. Nobody realises, I am a great actress and my smile hides a lot of stories.

With love-Hands-On

Optimists…we’re only human

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Red Tomato’s

redtomatos

Introducing the tomato.

It comes in many shapes, sizes and colours but it’s best known wearing a red coat and whether or not you believe it to be part of the vegetable family or fruit, it has graced our plates and tables for many years.

So why have I chosen to feature our red friend?  Well,  I’ll tell you.

Life was simple, free and easy growing up in the states during the 70’s and as a kid, I had the pleasure of regularly visiting farmer’s markets and helping my brother and later on my parent’s tend to an extensive and beautiful vegetable garden in the heart of Northern Maine, New England.

At a very early age, I remember my father bringing home his favourite plum tomato’s and eating them like candy.  They were bright red, shiny and were still attached to their vine with soft and fragrant leaves. It’s hard to explain the scent but I guess they smelled like sweet earth to me. I loved them and they were easy to pop in your mouth.

“Where’s the beef?”  Beefsteak tomato’s… now this one is the Daddy of all tomato’s!  As much as I’d like to say my first experience of this meaty fruit was in New York, I will hold my hand’s up and admit that New Jersey at that time had the best! (sorry fellow New Yorka’s)

Now this is one that can ONLY be enjoyed 2 ways:

  1. cut in half, salted and eaten like an apple
  2. Sliced thick and served on a juicy burger

My summer’s spent in Maine as a child were magical. It was like camping,  an adventure of sorts and it helped me to appreciate nature and the simplistic life. What kid wakes up in the morning, picks tomato’s, green beans and sweet peas off of their vine’s and eats them quite happily whilst walking through a maze of blooms to reach a babbling brook only steps away?  It was me and I am grateful.

There’s a bit more to this story, which was the motivation for this post.  Moving to Northern UK was a culture shock for me in the beginning and I had to adjust to many differences, mainly food.   My first tomato experience here was completely different.

Entering the quite reputable kebab take-away… so you can probably gather that I’m pretty darn passionate about food in general.  “What would you like on your kebab Miss?”  “Oh, I’d like tomato, lettuce, onions and whatever else you have in the way of salad please.”  I got home and opened the carefully wrapped package.  Orange?? These tomato’s are orange.  My husband (who is not entirely passionate about food in general) replied, “what’s wrong with that?”

My reply: “Everything darling, just everything.”

Something amazing

Image shared from wildspeak.com

Something amazing happened to me this morning.. for the first time since I’ve lived here in the UK, I witnessed a Monarch butterfly land in my back yard and it stayed for quite some time. So I decided to check into the meaning of this, if there was any…. this Optimist is now speechless…

Here’s little preview of what I found, but the full description is available by viewing the Monarch butterfly link added above.

Lessons and Challenges:

The monarch butterfly teaches us that life is short, and that it must be valued. Assuming that we have decades of our lives left (or at the very least, years) is all well and good for things like economic planning, but it is through recognising the fleetingness of human existence that we come to value every day, even those which get us down or which are hard to appreciate.

Enjoy

Happy Friday

With love,

Hands-on

Listen to your mother

I’m switching tactics here, following one of my earlier   posts entitled “Food Glorious Food.”

Diet’s, healthy eating, fitness programmes.. they are there to help us right?  One size fits all… I have learned that this is not the way to approach weight loss and become a healthier you.  I’m no expert by any means but the fact is…everyone is different.

Over the course of my life, I have tried numerous plans, pills and potions, which were advertised to “give you your ideal body” in so many weeks, months etc.  Back then I believed every word however; now that I’m older and wiser, I know that It’s impossible to guarantee the same results if you don’t know your individual circumstances, genetics, metabolism etc. For example… would a vegetarian have the same results as me on an Atkins type diet?  What about someone who has physical limitations and would find it difficult or nearly impossible to go spinning or weight train? Can we all afford a personal trainer? Probably not…

So that leads to the journey I have found myself part of and I’m hoping it can provide others with some inspiration from lessons that I have learned.

Let’s see if Mother was right….

  1. Metabolism-“breakfast is the most important meal of the day” it jump-starts your metabolism and this instruction was embedded in me from an early age.
  2. Oatmeal and oils Oatmeal is not only healthy for your heart, but it also sets you up for the day leaving you feeling full and satisfied. Oil’s- ease up on these folks… there are good oils/fats and bad ones. Stick with oily fishes (high in Omega like Salmon and mackerel), cod liver oil in the form of a capsule from your health food shop or grocery store and low-fat cooking spray.  (They even have olive oil types and garlic flavours now)
  3. Tomatoes-Vitamin C, good source of fibre, potassium and B6 to name a few!  Can be eaten raw   on it’s own to help with snack cravings, in a salad of course or sautéed with other veggies. SWEET! Treats are also important! If you don’t treat yourself now and again, you’ll end up bingeing and reversing all of the good you’ve accomplished. Save a small treat for each day or reward yourself at the end of the week or weekend. For instance: 2 of  your favourite cookies with a cup of herbal tea at night or perhaps some Chinese food on a Friday or Saturday night. (get something tasty but try to stay away from fried stuff in gloopy sauce.)
  4. Herbs-Goodbye gloopy oily and sugary sauces… Let’s opt for flavourful herbs instead. pepper, rosemary, basil, cilantro, curry powder, tarragon, lemongrass.. you choose.. it tastes nice and it’s healthy!
  5. Eggs- Great source of protein (especially for vegetarians) and easy again to snack on if you plan ahead and hard boil a bunch for the fridge.  Plus, it contains .. you ready? (Iron, zinc, iodine, Vitamin E, B2 and studies have shown that it boosts weight loss when eaten for breakfast (without 4 slices of toast with butter of course!)
  6. Red food-Well, green food has always been on the list, but as we’re going with mom’s advice here.. I’d like to focus on the red’s-Strawberries (high in vitamin c and has powerful antioxidants that have been proven to preventdegeneration of the eyes in some cases)  cherries are high in quercetin and ellagic acid. This antioxidant flavonoid has been shown to promote cell and tissue health.Cherries are also high in substances related to reducing the joint and muscle discomfort. Cherries also contain melatonin, an important natural chemical related to healthy sleep rhythms and maintaining a youthful appearance. BONUS!

By following “mother’s” instructions, I  lost 2 stone (almost 30 pounds) in 7 months.  I feel better about myself and I’m healthier to boot.

I hope this helps at least a few people and thanks for reading!

With love-Hands-on

Red berry health facts were taken from this site